I really did stay awake at night thinking about Fast Company’s article “Why We Hate HR”. In my Northrop Grumman days, there were a lot of supervisors who would come to our HR offices to complain that “the people were broken.” In fact, the people being broken was the foundation for our profession.
I’m not exactly sure when I came to the realization that it was “the processes that were broken and not the people at all” but the article certainly set me on the right path. I was not the only HR practitioner to be bothered by this article – – it became a hot topic in our HR community. Unfortunately, most of my HR contemporaries just took offense to the article and didn’t really see its merits.
It was almost a religious experience for me when I met a community of people, who believe the same way I did – – if we can figure out ways to improve the process, employees would rise to the occasion. And, that, most people really did want to do a good job it’s just that the rules kept changing and the processes kept breaking.
It was with great amazement, that I stumbled into a science called Six Sigma methodology. I must admit, at first, I found it tedious and hard to understand. (This was one of the reasons why later I started teaching my product Leaner Six Sigma because it makes everything easier to comprehend). But, originally Six Sigma was the only thing I had access to. I loved the whole concept that if we eliminated variation and standardized things and processes were easier to understand that everything could be made better, faster and more cost-effective. This would include the perception that employees are broken.